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No matter if you’re looking to save power at home or at your business, HVAC energy efficiency is all about getting the most out of what you have and using less. It’s no secret that HVAC systems represent a significant percentage of your energy costs (upwards of 50-60 percent), so every little bit of savings counts.
Before we reveal the top 8 ways to boost your HVAC energy efficiency and get the most out of your temperature control system, here are a few terms to get familiar with.
SEER: Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio is the ratio of cooling output in BTU (British Thermal Units) divided by the electricity usage in kilowatt hours. The bigger the number, the higher the HVAC energy efficiency it has.
EER: Energy Efficiency Ratio is like SEER except it doesn’t use seasonal averages. It is based on strict laboratory conditions instead. A higher number means a better HVAC energy efficiency.
HSPF: Heating Seasonal Performance Factor is a ratio for heat pump efficiency which measures the total space heating required in BTU over total electricity used by heat pump in kilowatt-hours. A higher number signifies a more efficient heat pump.
1. Update and Retrofit- If you find that you’re fixing an old unit more often than you’d like to admit, it might be worth retrofitting. The Department of Energy has found that you can save up to 35% annually in energy costs if you increase HVAC energy efficiency with a retrofit. Boost comfort levels with consistent temperatures and humidity levels with a retrofit.
2. Maximize Thermostat Controls- Forget to turn down the thermostat when no one’s at home or in the office? We’ve all done it. Boost HVAC energy efficiency with the simple switch of a button. Programmable and smart thermostats will control the temperature at your desired schedule so you won’t have to worry about it next time you leave for the weekend.
3. Upgrade to an Energy Efficient HVAC Unit- Double (or even triple) your return on investment by replacing an old unit. Newer models have much higher SEER ratings and many also have Energy Star ratings which adhere to strict guidelines.
4. Don’t Lose Air- You could have the most efficient HVAC unit on the market, but if you’re leaking air, it won’t save you any money. Consider adding insulation in the attic and check for leaks around windows, pipes, ducts and outlets as well.
5. Preserve Precious Airflow- Keep vents and ducts clear of obstructions. Ensure furniture, curtains and rugs are moved away to preserve air flow.
6. Find the Right Temperature- For optimal comfort, it is recommended for residents and businesses to set their thermostats between 68 to 72 degrees while there are people present. At night or when the space is empty, lower the temperature to 58-62 degrees.
7. Clean Air Filters- Dirty air filters are a common cause of HVAC energy efficiency problems. A clogged air filter will cause your equipment to run longer and use more power. Since a filter is designed to trap dust before it enters the system, if it’s not doing its job, dust could collect on motor parts and slow the unit down.
8. Become Vigilant About HVAC Maintenance- If you really want to keep your equipment running efficiently, don’t miss out on your seasonal maintenance appointments. Tune-ups not only increase efficiencies, but they also help you avoid expensive repairs down the road.